Part of Hanna’s Tomato Tastings 2010
Historically, I have enjoyed green (when ripe) tomatoes, so I am looking forward to this one. Green tomatoes are always a startling treat to set on the table as many people don’t know that there are tomatoes that are ripe and still green.
The name of this tomato intrigued me. Who was Aunt Ruby and was she related to Aunt Bee? Try as I might though, I could not find much out about it beyond that “Aunt Rubyâ€ is Ruby Arnold , that she was from Greenville, TN and these were not her tomatoes but rather her father’s that he brought from Germany. I am left to assume that he did not leave her much and so she thought it was appropriate to put her name on her father’s tomato as a way to make up for the lack of inheritance. Who knows, but I suspect a soap opera plot here waiting to be found.
The description from the company I bought it from reads:
One of the largest green beefsteak. Can grow to over 1 pound and are just delicious. They have brilliant, neon-green flesh with a strong, sweet and fruity flavor, much tastier than most red tomatoes. This family heirloom from Germany is beautiful.
The Beauty Pageant:
Size: While these were touted as being HUGE beefsteaks, not one off the plant was much larger than the palm of my hand. Not a bad size, but certainly not the massive beast that I had read about.
Shape: Flatish top, with a round bottom. I could compare it to unfortunate women like myself, but I will refrain.
Color: Dark green shoulders with yellow green bottom. The blossom end almost always (but not always, always) has a kiss of pink. So slight that, like the perfume of a man’s mistress, if you were not paying attention, you might miss it.
The inside:Classic beefsteak interior. Massive core with multiple chambers rimming the edge. Very loose gel. Smaller seeds for the size of the tomatoes (which are apparently undersized anyway).
Texture:Very thin skin and very silky flesh. This is a nice raw tomato to eat.
Off the Vine Tasting: This tomato does pack a wallop in the flavor department. To be honest, it tastes a lot like a green unripe tomato except the mouth feel is so much nicer. I like the flavor of unripe tomatoes, so this is a plus for me. The gel holds nearly all the flavor as is rather sour (not unpleasant) and lingering. The flesh is not as strong on flavor but is a bit sweet, which is a nice counter to the sour.
Sliced and Salted Tasting: Salt screws with this in a bad way. That really sour flavor is almost gone while the sweet in the meat is turned up. Not bad, but not as nice as without the salt.
Cooking Thoughts: I think this would make a great salsa. They are also a good choice for a slice and serve as a side dish.
Love the flavor on these, but was not all that impressed with the growing habit. They did not produce a lot of tomatoes, and the ones they did produce were very, very prone to cracking. I had one that literally cracked all the way around the “waistâ€ of the tomato. This meant a lot of spoilage on the plant. Not only do they go bad, but a badly cracked tomato is like an Vegas Buffet for slugs. Plus, they did not grow large at all. I just don’t think this tomato is suited for the Cleveland climate.
Will Hanna grow this one again:
Probably not. Great flavor, undoubtedly. But the prone to cracking nature just means I would be feeding more critters than I would like to.